Big 12 baseball: OU's Jonathan Gray shuts out Baylor, leads Sooners to 2-0 win

The Sooners beat Baylor 2-0 to open the Big 12 Baseball Tournament on Thursday afternoon. Gray tied a career-high with 12 strikeouts in the complete-game win.
by Ryan Aber Published: May 23, 2013
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Jonathan Gray didn't need to make a statement that he is one of college baseball's top pitchers.

Oklahoma needed one to solidify its suddenly shaky spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Gray delivered and the Sooners benefitted, beating Baylor 2-0 to open the Big 12 Baseball Tournament on Thursday afternoon.

“I thought really our performance today was about Jon Gray,” Sooners coach Sunny Golloway said. “I think that's pretty clear.”

After throwing six consecutive balls to start the game, Gray was dominant. He tied a career-high with 12 strikeouts in the complete-game win.

Baylor coach Steve Smith heaped heavy praise on Gray.

“He reminds me of, because of his three-pitch command and just the command of the game, he honestly reminds me of (Roger) Clemens, and I'm going back a long time,” Smith said.

Gray initially was going to pitch later in the tournament. The combination of the switch to pool play necessitated by Monday's tornado that led to the cancellation of Wednesday's games and the Sooners' need for quick wins to shore up their postseason resume caused Golloway to shift Gray up.

“I thought today was going to be real important because we had the third-best RPI (in the conference),” Golloway said. “We had a good RPI and an RPI that's deserving of getting into the tournament based on our league. Baylor had the next-best RPI. I thought that's why it was important.”

The Sooners (37-19) will play Texas Tech at 9 a.m. Friday in the second game of pool play.

Gray had struggled in his previous two starts but dominated Baylor when the Sooners needed it most.

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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